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Astros Crawfish Boil: November 8, 2023

Welcome to the Wednesday Boil, and Chapter 15 of the Everystros Countdown.

Shawn Dubin
| Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

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Welcome to the midweek Boil, and chapter XV of the Everystros Countdown.

Houston Astros News

Neris declines player option, becomes free agent

Astros GM drops update on search for Duty Baker replacement (Clutch Points)

Astros making slow progress but ‘feel like we’re getting closer’ in manager search (The Athletic)

Gold Glove winner Mauricio Dubon: ‘I wouldn’t be here without Him’ (Sports Spectrum)

Price Cut Puts Former Astros Star Yuli Gurriel on the Verge of Selling His Houston Home (Realtor.COM)

AL West News

In showy late-game swing, Oakland mayor calls for MLB owners to reject A’s move (The Mercury News)

Ron Washington interviews with Angels tonight (SportsTalkATL)

Why 2011 Texas Rangers feel relief after the first World Series championship in franchise history (KENS 5)

Seattle Mariners Decline to Give Teoscar Hernandez the Qualifying Offer (WBIR)

MLB News

Stove already hot for stars of Japan’s past and present

The 9 most fascinating free agents of the offseason

Many view this team as the Ohtani favorite

‘I needed a new challenge’: Counsell talks move to Cubs

Baltimore becoming attractive destination for discerning free agents

Cashman adamant the window is wide open for 2024 Yanks

Breslow gets to work at ‘frenetic’ first day of GM Meetings

Rock legend auctioning off his incredible baseball memorabilia

‘No untouchables’ for White Sox as new GM builds roster for 2024

Houston Astros Birthdays

Yesterday I posted birthdays from November 8th by accident, so today you get November 7th. Happy Birthday.

RHP Russ Springer (55) appeared in 204 games in relief for Houston in 1997, then again between 2004 and 2006. He had a 4.03 ERA and struck out 183 in 187 23 innings.

RHP Joe Niekro (1944-2006) pitched from 1975 through 1985 for Houston. In 301 starts and 96 trips out of the pen, he was 144-116 with a 3.22 ERA.

RHP Amilcar Chirinos (22) just finished his third season with the Astros, and is currently part of the Fayetteville Woodpeckers.

Everystros Countdown Chapter XV

In today’s story, we look at another 14 Astros all-timers on our way up through chapter CXXI. Today’s chapter features players between 21 and 100 PA/BF, and between negative-0.0030 and negative-0.0020 bWAR per BF/PA.

770. Kevin Cash is a right-handed catcher from Tampa, FL. Born on December 6, 1977, Cash got his start in the Toronto Blue Jays system in 2000, and played his way up to the parent club by 2002.

Cash totaled three seasons in the majors with Toronto (101 games, .173/.222/.262), and also appeared with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (13 games, five-for-31), the Boston Red Sox (73 games, .207/.297/.308) and the New York Yankees (10 games, six-for-26). On September 5, 2009, the Bombers released Cash.

Prior to 2010 Spring Training, the Astros took a flyer on Cash. On June 3, he was two-for-three with a walk and a solo home run in a 6-4 win over the Washington Nationals. Ten days later, he again went two-for-three with a walk and a home run, but this time with two RBI in a 9-5 loss to the Yankees.

Cash ultimately appeared in 20 games for Houston, going 11-for-54 for a double, two home runs and four RBI. He drew five walks versus 13 strikeouts. Defensively he made zero errors in 156 23 innings behind the plate and threw out four-of-19 runners attempting to steal.

On July 1, Houston traded Cash to the Red Sox for Angel Sanchez. Cash played 29 games with Boston that season, going eight-for-60, but didn’t appear in the majors after that. Cash later became the Tampa Bay Rays manager, and held onto the job for nine seasons (thus far). He’s gone 739-617 in the regular season and 15-19 in the playoffs, twice winning the AL Manager of the Year Award.

769. Joe Cannon is a six-foot-three lefty batting outfielder from Camp LeJeune, NC. Born on July 13, 1953, Cannon was Houston’s first-round choice (16th overall) out of Pensacola State College in 1974.

Cannon first got to the major leagues with Houston in 1977 after hitting .306 with a .794 OPS in 113 games for the Triple-A Charleston Charlies. In his first plate appearance, on September 22 against the Atlanta Braves, he hit a pinch-double in an eventual 8-4 loss. Overall he collected two hits, both doubles, in 17 plate appearances, with one RBI, two runs scored, and five strikeouts. He also handled seven outfield chances without incident over 25 defensive innings played.

In 1978, again mostly with the Charlies (137 games, .293, .791 OPS), Cannon reached the majors once again with Houston in September. He played in eight of Houston’s final 19 games of the year, going four-for-18 with a run and one RBI. In 31 23 outfield innings played defensively, he made two errors in nine chances.

After the end of the 1978 season, right around the Winter Meetings, Cannon was traded with Mark Lemongello and Pete Hernandez to the Toronto Blue Jays for Alan Ashby. in 131 games north of the border over two seasons, he hit .177/.186/.208.

768. Ollie Brown was a six-foot-two right-handed right fielder from Tuscaloosa, AL. Born on February 11, 1944, Brown got his start in the minor leagues for the San Francisco Giants in 1962, then made his major league debut for them three years later.

Brown played four seasons with the Giants (281 games, .249/.303/.350), followed by three-and-a-half seasons with the San Diego Padres (458 games, .272/.327/.413), part of the 1972 season with the Oakland Athletics (20 games, .241/.317/.315) and a year-and-a-half with the Milwaukee Brewers (163 games, .280/.350/.385).

Just days before the start of the 1974 season, the Astros purchased Brown’s contract from the California Angels, who had acquired Brown via trade during the offseason. On April 15, he hit a double and a solo bomb in a 3-1 victory over the Giants. In 27 games overall, Brown went 15-for-69 with a double, three home runs and six RBI, with six walks and 20 strikeouts. In 132 13 outfield innings for the Astros, Brown made zero errors in 39 opportunities.

On June 24, the Philadelphia Phillies selected Brown off the waiver wire from Houston. He went on to play three-and-a-half seasons with Philadelphia, hitting .264/.334/.428 in 272 contests. SABR Bio

767. Chad Paronto is a six-foot-five right-handed pitcher from Woodsville, NH. Born on July 28, 1975, Paronto got his start in 1996 in the system for the Baltimore Orioles. He eventually reached the majors for them in 2001, and went 1-3 with a 5.00 ERA over 27 innings between 24 games. He later played for the Cleveland Indians (0-4, 4.89) and the Atlanta Braves (5-4, 3.34).

Paronto signed on with the Astros through free agency in December, 2007. In 2008, he pitched in 61 games for the Round Rock Express, with 57 strikeouts in 52 23 innings, with a 1.424 WHIP. He was called on to join the Astros in July. In his first appearance on July 7, he pitched four innings of one-hit ball in a 10-7 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. On July 22, he pitched another 1 13 innings of perfect ball, but Houston lost 8-2. In 10 13 innings all told, Paronto gave up five runs on 11 hits and two walks, with four strikeouts.

In 2009, Paronto pitched 51 23 innings over 44 games, racking up a 1.39 ERA and a 0.929 WHIP for the Express back in Triple-A. He joined the Astros in the majors for two games in July and another four in September. On September 25, he pitched a scoreless ninth with one strikeout in a 10-4 loss to the Cincinnati Reds. In 6 23 innings over six games, he allowed 15 hits and one walk for nine runs, with three strikeouts. After the season, the Astros granted his free agency, but he didn’t again appear in major league play.

766. Dave Campbell is a six-foot-one right-handed infielder from Manistee, MI. Born on January 14, 1942, he started his pro baseball career in 1964, with the Detroit Tigers system. He got to the majors with them in 1967. He appeared in 43 games over three seasons, going five-for-49.

Campbell later played with the San Diego Padres (328 games, .224/.283/.324) and the St. Louis Cardinals (13 games, 0-for-21). On August 18, 1973, the Cardinals sent Campbell and a cash settlement to the Astros for Tommie Agee.

Campbell appeared in nine of Houston’s final 35 games through the end of the season. At the plate, he was four-for-15 with two doubles, two RBI, and one run scored. It’s important to note that he was 0-for-7 to start for the Astros, then collected two hits each in his final two games of the season. Although defensively he played mainly at third base while with the team, he also appeared at first base and left field, making a total of zero errors in 33 23 defensive innings.

The parent club level was Campbell’s only home for the 1974 season, although he did spend some time on the injured list. On April 29, he hit a single and a double with two RBI as the Astros raked the Chicago Cubs over the coals, 18-2. Although Campbell appeared in 35 games for the Astros through the season, those two hits would be the total sum of his offensive output. He was two-for-25 with that double and those two RBI, with one stolen base and four runs scored (as a pinch runner). SABR Bio

765. Danny Worth is a six-foot-one infielder from Northridge, CA. Born on September 30, 1985, he was a second-round pick for the Detroit Tigers out of Pepperdine University in 2007. He eventually reached the majors for Detroit in 2010, and played in parts of five seasons for them. In 133 games he hit .230/.293/.295 with two home runs and 19 RBI.

The Tigers granted Worth his free agency after the 2014 season, and he signed on with the Arizona Diamondbacks, but failed to make it back to the majors with them. In 2016 he signed on with the Astros. Most of his season was with the Fresno Grizzlies, where he hit .330 with a .955 OPS and 11 jacks in 84 games.

Worth also got promoted to Houston, debuting with the club on June 14. On June 18, he hit two doubles and scored a run in a 5-4, 11-inning win over the Cincinnati Reds. In 16 games back in the bigs, Worth went seven-for-39 with two doubles and an RBI, with one walk and six strikeouts.

764. Germán Rivera is a six-foot-two right-handed third baseman from Santurce, PR. Born on July 6, 1969, he started his professional career in 1978 in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization at their rookie level. He would eventually reach the majors for them, appearing in 107 games in 1983 and 1984, slashing .266/.328/.361). On July 15, Rivera was sent to the Astros as the PTBNL in a previous deal (PTBNL + Rafael Montalvo for Enos Cabell).

Rivera appeared in 13 games for Houston through the second half of the season. On July 31, he collected a pair of singles and scored in a 9-1 win against the Cincinnati Reds. On September 11, he hit a single and a double with an RBI in a 10-9 victory against the San Francisco Giants. Overall, Rivera was seven-for-36 with three runs scored, two doubles, a triple, two RBI, and four walks versus eight strikeouts.

Rivera never made it back to the majors again, but did spend another five seasons playing minor league ball with the Detroit Tigers, the Milwaukee Brewers, the Atlanta Braves and the Montreal Expos.

763. Jorge De Leon is a six-foot-even right-handed pitcher from La Vega, DR. Born on August 25, 1987, De Leon first appeared in Houston’s system in 2010 with the Tri-City ValleyCats in the Short-Season-A New York-Penn League, pitching to a 0.64 ERA and striking out 29 in 28 innings.

De Leon made his way through the Astros’ farm at a normal rate of progression. In 2013 he split his time between the Oklahoma City RedHawks and the Corpus Christi Hooks at Triple-A and Double-A respectively, with a 3.46 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 67 23 innings. Later in the season, he joined the Astros in August. On September 25, he pitched a perfect eighth inning in a 7-3 loss to the Texas Rangers. He pitched 10 innings in total, striking out six and allowing seven runs (six earned) on 12 hits, one hit batter, and seven walks.

De Leon spent 2014 mostly split between the same two farm clubs, totaling a 4-5 record with a 3.01 ERA and 43 K’s in 46 innings. He rejoined Houston in September, and pitched in eight of the Astros’ final 19 games of the campaign. Houston lost seven of those games. On September 26, De Leon inherited runners on the corners with only one out, leading the New York Mets, 3-1, and got Anthony Recker to line out and Ruben Tejada to hit into a 6-4 force play. The Astros eventually ended the game with the same score intact.

After the end of the 2014 season, the Oakland Athletics claimed De Leon off waivers from Houston, but he didn’t again reach the majors.

762. Shawn Dubin is a six-foot-one right-handed pitcher from Allegany, NY. Born on September 6, 1995, Dubin was Houston’s 13th-round pick in 2018 out of Georgetown College in Kentucky.

By 2021, Dubin was pitching at the Triple-A level with the Sugar Land Skeeters, where he was 4-3 with a 3.44 ERA and 69 K’s in 49 23 innings, as well as a 1.087 WHIP. Another season in Sugar Land, now the Space Cowboys, would await Dubin in 2022. His ERA went up to 4.78, as did his WHIP, to 1.444, but he still struck out a lot of dudes, with 80 K’s in 58 13 innings.

This season, Dubin reached the major leagues for the first time with Houston on June 19. In that game, Dubin inherited a 6-0 deficit and allowed another five runs on seven hits and a walk, with four strikeouts over three innings in an eventual 11-1 setback to the New York Mets.

Dubin’s next appearance was way better. In two innings of relief on June 28 against the St. Louis Cardinals, he gave up a solo home run over two innings, striking out four in a 10-7 victory. A few days later, in his first ever start, he went four innings and earned no decision, allowing one run on three hits and two walks, striking out three Rangers in an eventual 5-3 win against Texas. Dubin remains on Houston’s 40-man roster.

761. Tommy Greene is a six-foot-five right-handed pitcher from Lumberton, NC. Born on April 6, 1967, he was the first-round selection of the Atlanta Braves in 1985. It was also with Atlanta for whom Greene made his first major league appearance in 1989. In nine games for the Braves he was 2-2 with a 5.35 ERA and a 1.319 WHIP.

Greene later spent five-plus seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies. He started 89 games for them, with another 19 that he appeared in relief. The 580 13 innings he pitched there is by far the biggest hunk of service time he accumulated in the majors. He was 36-22 with a 4.02 ERA and a 1.320 WHIP.

Granted free agency following the 1996 season, Greene signed with Houston before 1997 Spring Training. On June 29, he started for the first time with Houston, and pitched 4 13 innings. He gave up four runs and struck out seven while allowing six hits and a pair of walks in a 10-8 win against the Chicago Cubs. On July 4, he started again, surrendering three runs on four hits and three walks over 4 23 innings, with four strikeouts in an eventual 4-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds. It was Greene’s last major league game.

760. Danny Boone is a five-foot-eight left-handed pitcher from Long Beach, CA. Born on January 14, 1954, he was drafted five times in total. His final draft was in 1976, when the California Angels took him in the second round out of California State University at Fullerton.

Boone played in a few seasons in California’s minor league system, but the Angels released him as 1980 was about to begin. He signed on with the San Diego Padres immediately afterward, and eventually reached the majors in 1981. In a season-and-a-half with the Friars, Boone went 2-0 in 47 appearances, with a 3.40 ERA, a 1.361 WHIP, a 2.94 FIP, and 51 strikeouts in 79 13 innings. On June 8, 1982, the Padres traded Boone to the Astros for Joe Pittman.

Boone joined the Astros directly, and pitched against the San Francisco Giants later that day, allowing two runs in 1 13 innings. On September 7, he earned a 12-out save, pitching the final four innings in a 4-3 win over the Padres. Boone allowed an unearned run on one hit and zero walks, striking out three. In 10 games through the end of the season, Boone was 0-1 with a 3.55 ERA and four strikeouts in 12 23 innings. He had a 0.868 WHIP on seven hits and four walks. The Astros released Boone on June 17, 1983.

Much later, Boone mounted a comeback, getting back to the majors with the Baltimore Orioles in 1990. He appeared in four games, pitching 9 23 innings with a 2.79 ERA.

759. Álex Taveras is a five-foot-10, right-handed infielder from Santiago, DR. Born on October 9, 1955, Taveras joined the Astros in 1974 at their Single-A level with the Cedar Rapids Astros. He played for the Iowa Oaks in 1975 and with the Memphis Blues in 1976, also getting to the Astros after the conclusion of the minor leagues season in September.

Taveras got his first hit in his first start, a single in a 4-1 loss to the San Diego Padres. On September 15, he had the first two-hit game of three to close out the season with the Astros, also drawing a walk but somehow getting caught trying to steal twice. In 14 games he was 10-for-46 with three runs, two RBI, two walks and only one strikeout, with one stolen base and those two CS.

After spending 1977 back in the minors for Houston, Taveras was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers with PTBNL (Bob Detherage) for Danny Walton. It took until 1982, but Taveras made it back to the bigs with the Dodgers, appearing in 21 games over parts of two seasons. Used mostly as a defender or pinch runner, he went one-for-seven with a double with LA.

758. Nate Bland is a left-handed pitcher from Birmingham, AL. Born on December 27, 1974, Bland was the fourth round pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1993 out of Mountain Brook HS.

It took Bland a lot of patience to get to the big leagues. After six seasons in the Dodgers’ minor league system, he was out of baseball entirely in 1999. In 2000 he resurfaced in the independent Northern League Central with the Sioux City Explorers, then in 2002 was back in the minors again with the New York Mets. In 2003, he was at Houston’s Triple-A level with the New Orleans Zephyrs when he was called up to join the Astros in early-May.

Bland pitched in a total of 22 games for the Astros that season. On June 6, he pitched a perfect sixth, striking out one batter in an eventual 11-8 win over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The next day, he inherited then stranded three runners, striking out three in 1 13 innings in a 5-4 win over Tampa Bay. Bland totaled 20 13 innings for Houston, striking out 18 and walking 12. He gave up 13 runs on 22 hits, pitching to a 1.672 WHIP and a 5.75 ERA.

After his time with the Astros organization, Bland didn’t get back to the majors. He did spend another five seasons playing in minor, Mexican, and Chinese League baseball.

757. Corbin Martin is a six-foot-two right-handed pitcher from Hempstead, TX. Born on December 28, 1995, he was a second-round pick for the Houston Astros out of Texas A&M University. Two years later, Martin made his first foray into the majors, taking five turns in the rotation for the Astros.

Martin struck out nine in 5 13 innings in his first start, giving up only two runs on three hits and a walk in an eventual 15-5 victory over the Texas Rangers. It was his best start, by both WPA and by GameScore. None of his four later turns were in the same ballpark (figuratively, and yes, pun intended). In total, he struck out 19 in 19 13 innings and allowed 12 earned runs on 23 hits (including eight home runs) and 12 walks. On June 12, the Astros traded Martin with Seth Beer, J.B. Bukauskas and Josh Rosas to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Zack Greinke.

In 2021, Martin got back to the major leagues with Arizona. In 12 games over two seasons he’s pitched in 38 13 innings, with 34 strikeouts and a 1.930 WHIP.

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